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Francesca C. Fortenbaugh, Shradha Sanghvi, Michael A. Silver, Lynn C. Robertson; Exploring the edges of visual space: The influence of visual boundaries on peripheral localization. Journal of Vision 2012;12(2):19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/12.2.19.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Previous studies of localization of stationary targets in the peripheral visual field have found either underestimations (foveal biases) or overestimations (peripheral biases) of target eccentricity. In the present study, we help resolve this inconsistency by demonstrating the influence of visual boundaries on the type of localization bias. Using a Goldmann perimeter (an illuminated half-dome), we presented targets at different eccentricities across the visual field and asked participants to judge the target locations. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants reported target locations relative to their perceived visual field extent using either a manual or verbal response, with both response types producing a peripheral bias. This peripheral localization bias was a non-linear scaling of perceived location when the visual field was not bounded by external borders induced by facial features (i.e., the nose and brow), but location scaling was linear when visual boundaries were present. Experiment 3 added an external border (an aperture edge placed in the Goldmann perimeter) that resulted in a foveal bias and linear scaling. Our results show that boundaries that define a spatial region within the visual field determine both the direction of bias in localization errors for stationary objects and the scaling function of perceived location across visual space.
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